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Partner of the Week: Catholic Health Commission, Lilongwe Archdiocese

Posted in Partner of The Week on August 24, 2021

The Catholic Health Commission Lilongwe Archdiocese (LLCHC) has been working in Malawi for over 17 years to provide ‘equitable, sustainable and quality healthcare for all.’ They organise and implement healthcare and nutrition programmes and services in hard-to-reach areas of central Malawi, including home-based care, HIV/AIDS mitigation, Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR), malaria and tuberculosis prevention, and community-based health centres for vulnerable children.  

With support from USAID and the Catholic Relief Services, they currently implement a programme focusing on vulnerable children. This programme reaches over 20,000 potentially vulnerable children, providing them with primary and secondary school support, disability screenings, and the provision of ability-assistance devices. They also implement a specific SRHR programme, supported by Plan International for youth and adolescents. Through this, they provide youth-friendly health services to 10 facilities in Lilongwe, form teen clubs, train youth on life skills, and provide informative booklets in braille. In addition, they run programmes improving nutritional and protective health education (such as the use of mosquito nets), and HIV management.  

Our Partnership 

Aflatoun has been partnering with the LLCHC, since 2020. They currently implement the Aflatoun curriculum to complement their work with children and their caregivers, particularly for orphaned and vulnerable children.  

They hope their partnership with Aflatoun will help raise awareness of the importance of social and financial education for young people, particularly in ensuring financial services are provided and regulated in a child-friendly way. They believe that children and young people have enormous potential for independence, leadership, and teamwork, but these skills are vulnerable to underdevelopment in the early years. Thus, the LLCHC are excited to implement the Personal Exploration, Savings and Spending, and Social and Financial enterprises aspects of the Aflatoun curricula.  

‘The programme encourages...the practice of identifying not just the problems within their communities, but creative, practical and achievable solutions to those problems in the community.’ — LLCHC employee

Mini-Entrepreneurs in the Chimwemwe Aflatoun Club 

As part of LLCHC’s efforts in TA Malili, they formed the Chimwemwe Aflatoun Club: a 6 month group savings project that encourages children to earn small amounts of money, and save financial and non-financial resources.  

Students earn money after school individually or in groups, through small activities such as selling homecooked food and homegrown vegetables produced in community gardens managed by local Aflatoun clubs. The money earned is then collected in the group’s savings pool. 

Other children have also opted to save other resources such as livestock, reasoning that it was easier to lose or misuse cash than physical assets. Utilising judgement and financial education skills learnt in through the Aflatoun and LLCHC youth programmes, they chose their livestock based on what they decided they were able to care for, rear and sell, as well as what would retain value.  

LLCHC staff have seen such forward-thinking skills grow amongst their students, with one encouraging his family to save maize, saying that “it would mean we would have food during the hungry season.”  

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